Apartment maintenance covers a range of tasks aimed at keeping residential properties safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for residents. This includes cleaning, landscaping, pest control, plumbing, HVAC repairs, and other routine duties. Maintenance technicians, apartment supervisors, and managers are responsible for overseeing these tasks. In this blog, you will learn everything you need to know about apartment maintenance.

What is Apartment Maintenance?

Apartment maintenance is a type of facility maintenance that ensures your living space remains functional and comfortable. This involves tasks beyond fixing leaky faucets – apartment maintenance might include keeping common areas clean, maintaining the landscaping, ensuring the plumbing and HVAC systems run smoothly, and preventing pest infestations. Both preventive maintenance checks and addressing problems that arise fall under this umbrella. The overall goal is to keep the building in good condition for both residents and property owners. This can be achieved through a dedicated in-house team or by hiring external professionals. Regardless of who handles it, proper maintenance is essential for a positive experience living in an apartment.

Types of Apartment Maintenance Workers

  1. Maintenance Technicians

    The backbone of keeping apartment buildings running smoothly, maintenance technicians are a jack-of-all-trades. They tackle everything from leaky faucets to malfunctioning heaters, handling both preventative upkeep and urgent repairs to ensure a comfortable living environment for residents.

  2. Maintenance Supervisors

    Larger apartment complexes with numerous maintenance technicians often have a dedicated supervisor on staff. These supervisors act as the glue that holds the maintenance team together. They delegate daily tasks, ensuring a smooth workflow. Safety is a top priority, so supervisors enforce adherence to established protocols. Additionally, they provide oversight to technicians, guiding them as they tackle a variety of maintenance challenges.

  3. Maintenance Managers

    While smaller apartment complexes can function with a single maintenance manager wearing many hats – planning, budgeting, scheduling, and even completing repairs – larger properties do need a dedicated team. In these buildings with hundreds of units, the manager oversees a crew of part-time and full-time maintenance workers who tackle the day-to-day repairs and upkeep, allowing the manager to focus on the bigger picture.

What Do Apartment Maintenance Workers Do?

  1. Preventive Maintenance

    Keeping up with a preventive maintenance schedule is key for property owners to manage their maintenance budget effectively. By focusing on preventive maintenance, property owners can cut down on costly reactive maintenance incidents. Common preventive maintenance tasks include:

    • Changing furnace filters
    • Checking HVAC systems
    • Inspecting windows
    • Examining roofs
    • Assessing plumbing systems
    • Reviewing electrical systems
    • Pest control, smoke detectors, building access issues

    Inspections are crucial for preventive maintenance and should be done before a tenant moves out and when a new tenant moves in.

  2. Reactive Maintenance

    Reactive maintenance involves addressing asset issues only after they have occurred. This includes tasks such as:

    • Upgrading hallway lighting fixtures that have burned out
    • Refurbishing old, worn paint by removing and repainting surfaces
    • Repairing visibly failing drywall
    • Repairing appliances like washers, dryers, dishwashers, or air conditioners when they stop working for a tenant

    The goal of reactive maintenance is to quickly and efficiently address issues like the ones mentioned above.

  3. Emergency Maintenance

    Emergency maintenance is the type of maintenance that landlords try to minimize. These repairs can take a lot of time and money, often needing outside help from contractors.

    According to state and local laws, landlords must fix emergency maintenance issues within 24 hours to minimize or prevent danger to health and safety. Some examples of situations that call for emergency maintenance include:

    • Gas and water leaks
    • Problems with heating or cooling systems
    • Electrical issues posing fire risks
    • Mold infestations
    • Damaged windows and doors during freezing temperatures

    Tenants need to inform their landlords about emergency maintenance issues right away, and landlords should explain the notification process in rental agreements. Property owners should also explain what counts as an emergency maintenance request. For instance, a broken front door lock is urgent, but a broken lightbulb or closet door knob isn’t.


Types of Buildings That Utilize Apartment Maintenance

Apartments and apartment complexes can range from cozy studios to large buildings with many units. Regardless of size, all require maintenance to ensure a comfortable living environment for residents.

CMMS helps simplify building maintenance. They offer automated features to monitor and control things like heating, cooling, lighting, and security. This lets building managers run things more smoothly and efficiently. Let’s explore different types of buildings that rely on apartment maintenance.

  1. High-Rise Apartments

    High-rise apartments are tall buildings with at least 12 floors, equipped with elevators for convenient access. Proper preventive maintenance is essential to ensure the elevators remain in optimal working condition.

  2. Mid-rises

    Mid-rise buildings typically consist of 3 to 10 floors and may offer amenities such as balconies or patios. They generally have fewer shared spaces compared to high-rises.

  3. Garden Apartments

    Garden apartments are located on the ground floor and feature outdoor spaces such as lawns or gardens. Regular maintenance is necessary to upkeep these outdoor areas and preserve their aesthetic appeal.

  4. Walk-Ups

    Walk-up apartments are multi-story buildings without elevators, where tenants access upper floors via stairs. Maintaining clean and well-lit staircases is crucial to prevent accidents and ensure safety for residents.

  5. Duplex, Triplex, and Fourplex

    Duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes are housing units consisting of two, three, and four attached living units, respectively. Each unit typically has its own entrance. Regular maintenance helps keep shared areas clean and enhances the overall appeal of the property.

  6. Townhouses

    Townhouses are multi-story dwellings with individual entrances and often feature private backyards. They represent a blend of single-family homes and apartments, offering residents a sense of community and privacy.

Certifications and Training for Apartment Maintenance

  1. NAHMT or NAHMS Credentials:

    The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) gives out two credentials, NAHMT and NAHMS. NAHMT is for technicians, and NAHMS is for supervisors. To get these credentials, candidates need to meet specific training and experience standards set by NAHMA.

  2. CAMT Certification

    The National Apartment Association (NAA) offers the CAMT Certification. If a maintenance technician has worked in apartment maintenance for a year, they can qualify for this certification. It covers various areas like following fair housing rules, handling work orders, doing painting and electrical work, and dealing with HVAC systems. It’s a way for technicians to show they know their stuff in apartment maintenance.

  3. Apartment Maintenance Institute

    The Apartment Maintenance Institute provides various courses to help maintenance professionals gain important information and skills needed for success in their jobs.

  4. Other Organizations

    Other groups help maintenance technicians. These include:

    • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
    • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Use NEXGEN to Schedule Apartment and Building Maintenance Tasks

As per Plant Engineering, most industrial and manufacturing facilities use spreadsheets (55%) and CMMS software (53%) to manage maintenance. Recently, cloud-based CMMS software has become more affordable, making it accessible even for smaller maintenance teams. However, many apartment maintenance teams still use a mix of spreadsheets, paperwork orders, and whiteboards.

The most effective way to organize tasks for apartment and building maintenance is by using NEXGEN. It simplifies receiving work requests from tenants, analyzing them, and assigning tasks to technicians. With NEXGEN, maintenance teams can focus more on actual tasks instead of dealing with paperwork.

NEXGEN makes building maintenance tasks more efficient by creating a central database for organized resources and assigning work orders to maintenance technicians.

Ready to give NEXGEN’s CMMS a try?


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is considered “apartment maintenance” and who is responsible?

    Taking care of apartments includes fixing things and keeping common areas and individual units in good shape. It depends on what’s written in the lease agreement. Usually, landlords handle big issues and things like plumbing and electricity, while tenants take care of small repairs and keep things clean.

  2. What is considered emergency maintenance in an apartment?

    Emergencies in apartment maintenance are situations like water leaks, gas leaks, unsafe electrical problems, or heating and cooling systems not working in extreme weather. Most lease agreements tell you what to do when there’s an emergency, so you can report it and get it fixed quickly.

  3. What are the benefits of proper apartment maintenance?

    Making sure apartments are well-maintained has a lot of good outcomes. It makes living there better, increases safety, raises property value, lowers repair costs, and makes tenants happier.

  4. What do apartment maintenance managers do?

    People in charge of apartment maintenance plan out and organize teams to do the work. They decide how many technicians are needed based on the number of things that need fixing and how long it takes to finish each task. A common ratio is to have two technicians for every 100 units. The manager’s main job is to plan, schedule, and come up with strategies for maintenance tasks.

  5. What do apartment supervisors do?

    In large places with many maintenance technicians, there’s usually a maintenance supervisor. They give out checklists for maintenance tasks, make sure everything gets done every day, and make sure safety rules are followed.